Turns out, having a baby takes a lot of time! Add in a smart and energetic toddler/preschooler, and things like writing blog posts take a back-seat role for a while :)
I’m popping in today to share part one of a few wrap-up posts about the garden this past summer. I took photos throughout the summer, but it proved to be too hard for me to get them edited and posted on the blog in anything close to real-time. So I’ll share some now, with some things I learned and want to remember as I plan my future gardens.
The three photos below show what my garden plot looked like in mid-July. On this particular day, I harvested one zucchini– the very first piece of produce from this year’s garden!
Let’s talk about the zucchini first, shall we?
I had two varieties in my garden, a Lake Valley seed company variety and a Burpee seed company variety. I got a grand total of one small zucchini (a strangely-shaped 1/2 pound one) from the Burpee plant, which surprised me. The Lake Valley plant grew to a monstrous size and gave us 10 fruits! Yum. We grilled some, we made fritters, and of course we made zucchini bread! The plant got quite unwieldy by the end of the summer, and started breaking when we harvested. However, this is the first summer where my zucchini harvest even approached the “feed your neighborhood” quantity touted on the packet!
The cucumbers were underwhelming this summer. After last year’s amazing yield, I was super-excited for cucumbers to come out my ears! But they seemed to get started late, and the vines never got very full. In fact, I got half the number of fruits off of approximately twice the garden “real-estate.”
Also in the “disappointment” category are the peppers. I didn’t expect much from my from-seed-seedlings, which was good: they died almost immediately (or got trampled??). But I had high hopes for the store-bought plant. We ended up getting two red peppers from it.
The tomatoes, on the other hand, were plentiful!
The Indigo Rose tomatoes (purchased plants) were beautiful to look at. The flavor wasn’t anything spectacular, though, so I don’t think we will get them again.
We absolutely loved the Bonnie Grape (purchased plants) tomatoes. They yielded like crazy, and we could hardly keep up with them. The flavor was fantastic and they were perfect for salads. Usually I am loathe to cook with delicious home-grown tomatoes like this, but we had so many that I actually tried them in a soup recipe that called for cherry-type tomatoes!
We got only a few tomatoes from the plants I started from seed (Best Boy and Fourth of July varieties). In comparing them to the other varieties, though, we did decide that we liked the fleshiness of the Best Boy fruits, especially for things like sandwiches. The flavor of the Fourth of July tomatoes was much better than the flavor of the Indigo Rose fruits.
My herbs were a bust. I don’t think I even used any from this box!! How disappointing. I was good about watering them until the baby was born, and after that, they were dependent on the rain. As you can see from the photo above, part of the box is shielded by the second floor overhang of our house. Bummer. They all dried out and died really quickly. I’m glad they were freebie seeds or I would be even more sad than I already am.
We got some really beautiful harvests this summer. The colors were gorgeous, and even though I was picky about the tomatoes’ flavor, I really did enjoy the luxury of home-grown produce. I am most thankful to Husband, though, because he ended up doing almost all of the work for the garden this summer. In the first part of the summer, I was so pregnant that I couldn’t even get over the fence easily, and in the second part of the summer, I discovered that if I went outside, especially into the garden, I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. I got bitten in at least 19 places to collect the tomatoes shown in the photo with the kitchen scale! Husband seems to be mosquito-resistant, so he graciously harvested for me.